Ashley McAree, MSN, RN, FNE-A/P, SANE-A, Human Trafficking Liaison for GBMC’s Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) and Domestic Violence (DV) Program, wants people to know this portrayal of human trafficking is far from the full story and anyone can become a victim. Any person who is forced into labor or commercial sex through fraud or coercion is a victim of human trafficking. Minors who are involved in commercial sex in any capacity are also considered to be victims of human trafficking.
Victims often know their trafficker and go through a grooming process before they are trafficked. Many of those who are targeted are already in a vulnerable position and have an unmet need that the trafficker promises to fulfill. Groups that are particularly vulnerable include:
- Young people and minors
- People living in poverty
- Those with a history of drug or alcohol abuse
- Victims of physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse during childhood
- Those with a history of running away from home
Victims of human trafficking are not alone and help is available. GBMC’s SAFE and DV Program offers a secure and confidential voicemail that is checked every few hours by a victim advocate, who will contact the caller and provide help. There are also many community resources that have 24-hour hotlines (listed at the bottom of the page). The Program is actively working to educate healthcare providers, both inside and outside of GBMC, about the signs of human trafficking and what to do if they suspect someone is a victim.
If human trafficking is suspected, GBMC’s SAFE and DV Program advises trying to talk to the victim alone and offering help. Never approach a suspected trafficker. If there is an emergency, call 911. In non-emergency situations, victims and others should call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. This hotline and the resources listed below are available for victims 24/7.
Baltimore County Police Department
- If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.
- If 911 is not an option, have a family member or friend call the non-emergency number at 410-887-2222, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Special Victims Unit at 410-887-2223.
The Family Tree (parenting helpline) – 1-800-243-7337 or live chat at www.familytreemd.org
- Connects parents to resources to prevent child abuse and provides family counseling, children and youth services, and public policy and advocacy
- Provides therapeutic services to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence including legal advocacy, shelter, employment readiness, and case management
- Provides services to victims of intimate partner violence including emergency shelter, legal clinic services, counseling services, and abuse intervention
Baltimore County Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Hotline – 410-828-6390
SARC Harford County – 410-836-8430
National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-7233